Into the great unknown: Fostercare

UnknownThis weekend we passed a major milestone in our lives and in the future of our family – we completed our final foster parenting class. Our homestudy is the only step left before we are licensed foster care providers through The Bair Foundation. We hope to eventually adopt out of fostercare.

I haven’t mentioned anything on the blog because… well, it’s a long story how we got here, and the whole thing is honestly a bit scary!

We know this is the path God has called us to walk in. And we’re obeying. But I would be lying to say that my knees don’t still knock a bit in each and every foster parent training as we discuss the effects of trauma on children as well as the emotional, spiritual, and social cost for foster families.

We always planned to adopt, and have discussed for 13 years since we were first dating. For years, we planned on adopting from China. We looked briefly at other international adoption options. But domestic adoption was scary and fostercare… that just sounded crazy. No way. No thanks. Never doing that.

Don’t say “we’re never doing that” to God. We should know that by now!

I’ll share more of how we knew this was the direction we were to go, but last night NP and I discussed the fear of the great unknown. Why is fostering so frightening?

I think it’s scary to me because it’s so very clear and obvious that we have no control of how this will all unfold. People have been asking us, “what is the typical process for fostering to adopt?” We laugh, because there is nothing else to do… there really isn’t a “typical” process. Do we know what we’re getting ourselves into? The answer to that question is a BIG RESOUNDING “NO!”

Fostering is frightening to me because there are so many people involved in the process – fallen, corrupt people. People I will deal with personally who will have caused deep and lasting damage to children I will grow to love deeply – and I am called to love those who have hurt them, too… even knowing that we will probably all be hurt in the process. We are stepping into this knowing that the “system” is broken, that things will rarely unfold the way we think they should or the way we want them to. We have, and will have, no control.

Once again, I find myself needing to rehearse this truth: God is great, so I don’t have to be in control.

Isn’t that wonderful news? My God is so big, so mighty, so capable, so trustworthy; He is sovereign, and nothing is too hard for Him. (Jeremiah 32:27) He knows when even a sparrow falls to the ground; are we not much more valuable than they? Has has even the hairs of my head numbered. (Matthew 10:29-31) All the days ordained for me were written before I took my first breath. (Psalm 139:16) God prepared good works beforehand for me; I simply obey and walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

And every single one of those truths is true for myself, my family, my children, the child(ren) we will foster, the child(ren) we will adopt. He knows. He sees. We can rest in the good and gracious plans He has for us. We can rest in His great love for us, the children, and the broken and hurting biological families in our community they belong to.

God is great – I don’t have to be in control. He is God and we are not. And so, we take wobbly steps into the great unknown.

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